Thursday, June 24, 2010

KV-1s and better decals!

I finally finished off some KV-1s's that I've had painted for a while. They were just never varnished or had decals applied. I was always afraid to wreck them with my shitty decal applying techniques. So, they sat in the glass case, unable to be used because I was afraid to finish them.

Well my Stuka's turned out so well, that I decided to finally finish them off.

I just refined my process. First I decided I would varnish the tanks before I applied the decals. I was always running into issues with the paint coming off when I applied brush on Gloss varnish or Decal solvent. I also stopped using the gloss varnish because after I sprayed the matt varnish on, they would still look shiny in that one spot I applied the decal.

So, after I give them one coat of varnish spray, I apply the brush on gloss varnish. this is suppose to flatten the surface so you don't get the "silvering" which is cased by an uneven surface.

Then I applied the decals and used a good coat of decal solvent. And then once they dry I go over them again with the solvent. This softens the decal and apparently causes the decal to form to the surface. Then I dab them with a Q-tip to flatten them a bit more. To make sure all the air is out from underneath.

Then I'm done and I can give them a final coat of varnish or 2. Its really helped that I've found a varnish (even matt ones) that isn't shinny after it dries. That really was driving me crazy in the past.

Well it seem to have worked very well, as I hope you can tell by the pictures. still a few rough parts, but those should go away as I get better at my new process.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stuka's Are Done!

Well my Stuka 87D's are done. I tried a couple of new techniques I will share with you today. Not to sure if I like them yet or not.

First thing I tried was using a "Technical Pen" to fill in the detail lines after it was painted. I don't think anyone has even heard of a Technical Pen in Canada. I went every where. Art stores, office stores, stationary one even heard of them. So, I tried a fine line marker. I think its the same you just can't refill them. Still not 100% I like it. I think if the ink flowed a little easier it would probably work a lot better.

The next thing I tried was these weathering stick by Tamiya. It simulates caked on mud. I didn't do a very good job, but I think I can work with it. They turned out a bit splotchy. the rest of the tanks aren't dirty enough. but the build up of mud looks good.

Working Update:
  • I've almost completed a Strelkovy Platoon.
  • I'm assembling some SU-76m's
  • Priming a German Grenadier Platoon.
I did finish assembling some IS-2's and KV-85's, but out of the 3 IS-2's and 3 KV-85's I did assemble...1 IS-2 and 1 KV-85 came with the wrong guns, so i've had to contact Battlefront to get replacements...I have no luck.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Air Brushing First Attempt

Wow, it is not easy to airbrush. I'm trying to get this all set up to make my painting go faster. And so I can start doing better camo on my tanks.

I just bought a cheap air compressor with a 1.5 gallon tank. I knew it was going to be loud, but holy cow. These things are insanely loud. I"m going to spend the extra $100 and get a quiet one that was made for airbrushing.

Next, the airbrush itself, isn't all that easy. Mixing paint was a pain. spraying was a pain, if I could even get the airbrush to spray. I had 2 airbrushes. I had a cheap $7 just to see how things would work, and an old Badger from 1978 that my dad gave me. Looking at some pictures of the 350 it hasn't changed since 1978

The $7 didn't work to bad. I actually go some Shermans primed with it. kinda splochy but not to bad. Think probably because it was cheap. The Badger I couldn't even get to spray at all.

I'm going to have to spend the money and get the double action airbrush that all these crazy painters use.

All in all, not a very fun experiencing for my first try. Then I'm going to need to try and find paint to match my Vallego WWII colors.

Back to the drawing board.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Painting History

Thought I'd give a little bit of incite into my painting history.

I've probably been painting since my early 20's. Actually I'm pretty sure I painted model planes and cars with my dad but I don't remember much.

I started of with Fantasy figs. Games like Hero Quest and Battle Masters. This is where I discovered painting creases black, and dry brushing chainmail and fur looked really good. I was super happy with these paint jobs at the time I figured those techniques out. These were plastic not very detailed figures, but in hindsight very good for figuring out how to paint. I think I was still using oil paints that came in those glass jars for model cars and planes.

Then, right around the same time I met my beautiful wife, I "graduated" to a game called Chainmail. These were about 28mm scale, metal, and extremely detailed. This is where I learned to highlight raised edges to make the figs "pop" a little more.
These all turned out really well. They took a very long time to paint.

This is also when I discovered primer and Varnish to protect my work. All those plastic ones I don't think I ever used primer. I also ran into that age old miniatures question...Black primer or white. That can be an article for another day. Lets just say I used white for the Chainmail guys, but now I use black.

I took a long hiatus from painting as I was very disgruntled with what happened to Chainmail. It was the perfect game. I was a skirmish game so I didn't need to buy hundreds of guys to field an army like say WarHammer. You could use 6-12 guys.

I've always loved WWII, so I tried A&A Miniatures. Didn't have to paint and you got lots of cool plastic tanks. But then once again, I decided to "Graduate" to Flames of war. Highly detailed metal figs.

Flames of War is a 15mm scale, and they were very difficult to paint at first. especially since I hadn't painted in a long time and those were 28mm. Huge difference. Also, Fantasy figures are bright colors, easy to make things stand out and look good. War games are lots of browns, greens and earth tones.

I decided to collect Soviet and German armies. Eastern front always had the coolest tanks. Little did I know, 27 teams of soviets equaled 8 teams of Germans...Lots of painting.

Anyway, these were my first soviet teams. I had no clue what I was doing...and needless to say they didn't turn out very well. Although with the smaller pictures they don't look as bad as they do in person.

I've always been afraid of washes. So I try the dry brush method. try to leave some of the black primer showing in the creases. I wasn't sure if this was the correct thing to do, but Tom Wise seems to do it the same way. I just wasn't doing a thick enough base coat. Needless to say my next set of troops was a lot better. And I improved the materials I used for bases.

I am currently working on more russian troops, Stuka's, and Stug G's. These should be an even bigger improvement as i'm trying some new techniques. The troops I'm doing a super heavy first coat. The stuka's i'm trying the technical pen for creases. and on the Stug's I'm finally going to try a wash.

I'm really looking for better ways to speed up painting troops. It takes so long to paint all these Russians. Tanks are easy and fast, I could do 5 tanks in a few days.

But even my newer (Bottom) painted tanks are better then my older ones (Top)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So It Begins!

With me getting heavily back into Flames of War, I've decided to join the blogging revolution. Not really to sure how this all works. But I suppose I will begin documenting what I paint, and the battles we have.

I've been painting for a very long time, but have only just become serious in the last few years of my life.

I've probably enjoyed World War II longer then I have painting. So, Flames of War is a natural hobby for me.

I actually thought I was a pretty good painter until I saw people like Tom Wise and the rest of the FoW community...yikes. These are pictures of his Tiger tanks. I have a long way to go.

I've already tried to use Tome Wises suggestion of a technical pen for shadows. #1, no one in Canada seems to even know what a technical pen is. So, I found the closest thing. Not sure if I like it yet or not.

I'm almost done my Junkers JU87D's so i'll post pictures of those. It was the first project I used the "technical pens" on.